Companies

Ahead of Kraft merger, Berkshire is Heinz’s top shareholder

Reuters June 18 | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on June 18, 2015

heinz

H.J. Heinz Co said on Thursday that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc has become its majority shareholder by exercising a warrant ahead of the ketchup maker's planned merger with Kraft Foods Group Inc.

In a regulatory filing, Heinz said Berkshire exercised a warrant to acquire about 46.2 million shares for nearly $462,000 this week.

Heinz said the shares represent about 5.4 per cent of its outstanding common stock, and that their issuance gives Berkshire a 52.5 per cent overall take.

The warrant was issued in connection with Heinz's $23 billion acquisition by Berkshire and Brazilian private equity firm 3G Capital in 2013.

Shareholders of Kraft are scheduled to vote on July 1 on the Heinz merger, which would create one of the world's largest food and beverage companies.

Heinz owners would get a 51 per cent stake in the combined company, which would be known as Kraft Heinz Co.

Berkshire would own about 27 per cent of the combined company, but 3G would oversee day-to-day operations.

Kraft brands include its namesake cheese, Oscar Mayer cold cuts and Maxwell House coffee.

The company has said it expects to close the merger a few business days after shareholder approval.

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Published on June 18, 2015
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